In Case You Missed It: Ode to the 80’s
by Yvette Travillian
On a whole, I am not as beat with the music that came out in 2010 as some of my good peeps and colleagues. Due to the copious amounts of blogs and emails I go through a day – I was able to sift through the all bullshit and discover handfuls of new artists/bands that impressed me immensely.
One sound in particular the really stood out for me in 2010 was the ‘sound of the 80’s’. I mean WOW, it seems like almost every new song that made its way into my headphones was highly influenced by this era. Synth-pop style tracks became even more-so of a norm for artists of all ‘genres’ prooving that you didn’t have to actually live through the 80’s to feel the 80’s.
And why not? The 80’s rocked! And now that nostalgia can be felt everywhere you look; music, fashion, television, film; (although the 80’s remake movies are getting a little out of hand).
So my end of the year ‘In Case You Missed It’ will be dedicated to the true music winner of 2010: The 1980’s. Here are just five of my favorite tracks chosen randomly (in no particular order) that rocked my world as a kid and to this very day. Feel free to hit us up and let us know which 80’s tunes y’all are digging these days as well.
Flock of Seagulls – I Ran
The English New Wave band, Flock of Seagulls struck gold with their 1982 super-smash hit “I Ran”. It was played repeatedly on MTV (although the video edit is much shorter than the original) and to this day remains ultra popular in current pop culture. It was the theme song to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; its been used in TV shows such as Everybody Hates Chris; and has been covered and sampled from everyone from Slim Thug to Tori Amos.
Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait
Nu Shooz is comprised of husband and wife John Smith and Valerie Day out of Portland, Oregan. “I Can’t Wait” was released in 1986 and immediately became a Billboard chart topper – including a top spot on the then ‘Hot Black Singles” list. Naturally because of its strong R&B/Dance vibe the song was very popular in urban markets and a lot of (black) people were surprised to find out that the group consisted of two white people. However, race had no impact on its success because across the board this song was deemed an 80’s classic.
Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance
Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” was an international blockbuster. Recorded in 1986 but released in 1988 the title (and song) refers to Neneh’s then crew of ‘Buffalo’s’ – a group of fashion photographers, models, musicians etc. who liked to stand as if they were posing for a photo-shoot in a London fashion magazine. We all know the stance; the one with the arms cross and the mad-serious face. This was Neneh’s biggest hit and it was off her debut album Raw Like Sushi.
Whodini – Five Minutes of Funk
Whodini’s 1984 album Escape is definitely considered a hip hop classic. It spawned major bangers like “Freaks Come Out at night”, “friends” and of course “Five Minutes of Funk”. It’s almost impossible to accurately articulate just how ferocious this track is from beginning to end. So we’ll just let the song speak for itself. (NOTE: Unfortunately, no video was ever made)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
In 1984 the British band Frankie Goes To Hollywood released their debut single “Relax”. With its monstrous opening instrumental and its highly explicit lyrical content (Frankie ain’t telling folks to “relax” for no reason *pause*) this song had no choice but to be an 80’s super hit. It’s been sampled, covered and used a gazillion times and without a doubt will be an 80’s staple song forever.